Many helmets have chin straps to hold them on.

One design uses a split chin-strap, where the strap splits into two forming a cup shape, one going just below the lower lip and one under the chin.

Original file public domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ACH_005.jpg edited to focus on the chin cup strap

In my opinion, this is a more comfortable design as the chin strap is against the chin bone instead of pressing against the fleshy underside of the lower jaw.

OP's work, from https://i.imgur.com/70lEdtX

I found a single link http://www.usyouthsports.org/images/CPSC_Hangman_s_4_point_chin_strap.pdf which claims that this design is safer for bike helmets as it may reduce some cases of strangulation in case a "yanking" force is applied to the helmet.

  • Were there any other studies done on chin strap design like this for bike helmets?
  • Is this design safer?
  • Are there any bike helmets actually available with this chin strap ?
  • 3
    Can a helmet strap actually strangle you? I imagine you’d rip the anchors out of the helmet before that happens.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 15:18
  • 1
    @MaplePanda I found these after a cursory google search cyclehelmets.org/1227.html and helmets.org/playgrou.htm The cases are rare, though there are indications that this is a possibility (atleast during some non-cycling activities wearing the helmet)
    – user80551
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 15:26
  • 1
    @MaplePanda I also found out this report helmets.org/chinstrp.pdf which establishes the release force of current helmet straps at >1000N which did not release during any of their tests.
    – user80551
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 15:34
  • 5
    The "purpose" of the harness is so when you hang a few pounds of optical equipment off the front of the helmet it doesn't pitch forward and dig a regular chin strap into your neck. The front of the chin is connected to the strap across the nap of the neck for stability/prevent that strap from riding up.
    – Affe
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 20:27
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    @Criggie The rewording is much better, but maybe a little less blur around the cup showing the "right under the lower lip" concept would have been better. The current image doesn't illustrate the positioning of the strap easily IMO.
    – user80551
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 23:58

2 Answers 2


I've been a motorcyclist for over 50 years and have seen fads come and go. One was chin cups/straps (early '70's). A lot of research went into this. Bottom line is, if you want a helmet to stay where it belongs (on your head) then a properly fitted neck strap is the way to go. Of course there were all the arguments pro and con, as we see here. Check out any motorcycle helmet; MotoGP riders rely on this when they're jumping off at 200mph+. Remember, if you hit something hard enough, no matter what you're wearing, it's going to hurt. Possibly kill you.

  • Hi, welcome to bicycles. You claim that a neck strap is better; do you have any references to support this? Answers are good, but answers with evidence are better.
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 13:46
  • theukrules.co.uk/rules/driving/highway-code/motorcyclists/… If worn with a chin cup attached to or held in position by a strap, is provided with an additional strap (to be fastened under the wearer's jaw) for securing the helmet to the head; and (c) Is securely fastened to the head by means of straps provided for that purpose; and 'strap' includes any fastening device. Clearly a chin cup type alone is regarded as being inadequate and the main means of securing the helmet is a strap UNDER the chin. Here a chin cup alone is illegal. Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 15:54

Helmet strap will strangle kids, there are cases of children in play grounds not being able to get out. I would add the magnetic buckle as the solution to these problems. e.g. https://www.fidlock.com/en/helmet-buckles

  • 2
    Note the question is about chinstraps with cups, which are in part intended to keep the strap out of the neck. A breakaway clip is only tangentially related to the point of the question.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 23:42
  • 2
    A breakaway chin strap could easily lead to the helmet coming off during a crash. Sure, it might hold for the initial impact, but if you slide along the ground and the helmet comes off, well, that's your ear grinding off against the pavement. Not a lot of fun. Tell the kid to not wear his bike helmet on the playground equipment.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 16:47

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